A car is a big purchase, so when you’re in the market for a new vehicle, you might be looking to make it last for as long as possible. But, on average, only 7.5% of car owners keep their vehicles for 15 years or more. That percentage is significantly higher, however, with some makes and models that are known for their reliability and quality.
Automotive research firm iSeeCars analyzed over 750,000 cars sold in 2018 from the 1981 to 2003 model years to determine which vehicles are the most likely to be kept for at least 15 years, and GOBankingRates has rounded up the results. If you want to keep your ride for the long haul, these are the car models that are worth the purchase price.
Last updated: May, 17, 2019
15. Toyota Avalon
- Original owners keeping their car for 15 years or more: 10.8%
Consumers rate the Avalon high for reliability, with one owner giving the 2004 model a 5 out of 5 score in the category on Kelley Blue Book.
“This car has been remarkably dependable and is very comfortable to drive or ride in,” the reviewer wrote in 2018. “It is an excellent car which we intend to drive for a few more years.”
The newer models continue to be highly rated. The Toyota Avalon was recognized by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety as a 2019 top safety pick when equipped with high-intensity discharge headlights. It also received awards from Kelley Blue Book for the best resale value of a full-size car and the best resale value for a hybrid/alternative energy car in 2018. In addition, the sedan earned a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2018.
14. Toyota 4Runner
- Original owners keeping their car for 15 years or more: 11.2%
If you’re shopping around for a durable SUV, look no further than the Toyota 4Runner.
“Next to family and best friends, this was the most reliable part of life for almost 15 years,” said one Kelley Blue Book reviewer, who gave the car a perfect 5 out of 5 reliability score.
The 2019 model has a body-on-frame construction that gives it superior off-road capabilities. It’s also equipped with a 270-horsepower V-6 engine, standard hill-start assist control and skid plates underneath the vehicle to help protect the engine, front suspension and fuel tank.
13. Acura MDX
- Original owners keeping their car for 15 years or more: 11.4%
The Acura MDX is the best-selling third-row luxury SUV of all time, and it has received its fair share of recognition from the auto industry. The luxury car is a 2018 IIHS top safety pick, and it earned a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA. In addition, it was named 2018’s best luxury three-row SUV for the money by U.S. News & World Report.
“Along with having strong reliability and safety ratings, the Acura MDX offers great value as one of the lower-priced vehicles in the luxury midsize SUV class,” said iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly in an article about the study results. “It attracts the more practical luxury vehicle buyers who are more likely to keep these vehicles for a long time.”
12. Toyota Camry
- Original owners keeping their car for 15 years or more: 11.5%
The Toyota Camry is a midsize car that’s marketed as “the daring side of dependability.”
“The Camry is a really reliable model,” said an owner of the 2004 model on Kelley Blue Book. “I have never had to do anything except routine repairs.”
The 2019 model’s performance features include a choice of four-cylinder and V-6 engines; direct-shift, eight-speed automatic transmission; three driving modes; and an estimated 41 highway mpg.
11. Toyota RAV4
- Original owners keeping their car for 15 years or more: 12.1%
One longtime RAV4 owner wrote a glowing review of his car on Kelley Blue Book: “Rock solid, never once broke down in 258,000 miles and 15-plus years.”
The 2019 model of this crossover SUV features direct-shift, eight-speed automatic transmission; three driving modes; and multilink rear suspension. The newest RAV4 is based on the Toyota New Global Architecture, which provides improved handling and comfort.
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10. Subaru Forester
- Original owners keeping their car for 15 years or more: 12.1%
The Subaru Forester is tied with the Toyota RAV4 regarding the percentage of original owners who keep their car for 15 years or more — and it’s 1.6 times higher than the average for all cars.
“The Forester is a reliable vehicle known for its safety and affordability, which are both characteristics of the Subaru brand,” Ly said in the iSeeCars report. “The vehicle offers standard all-wheel drive and impressive fuel economy, which appeal to practical consumers.”
The 2019 model of the SUV gets an estimated 33 highway mpg and 26 city mpg. With up to 111.9 cubic feet of passenger volume, the Forester is roomier than many other cars in its class.
9. Honda CR-V
- Original owners keeping their car for 15 years or more: 12.4%
Honda’s compact SUV has earned a number of awards, including an IIHS top safety pick and Kelley Blue Book’s distinction as the best buy for a compact SUV. The CR-V is Honda’s best-selling vehicle and was also selected by Motor Trend as the 2018 SUV of the Year thanks to its spacious, intelligently designed interior as well as its segment-best driver-assist technology.
“My CR-V just keeps on going,” said an owner of the 2004 model on Kelley Blue Book. “It may be old but it runs like new.”
8. Honda Odyssey
- Original owners keeping their car for 15 years or more: 12.6%
The Honda Odyssey minivan is still beloved by many of its longtime drivers, with one owner of the 2004 model giving it a 5 out of 5 for reliability on Kelley Blue Book.
“We still get compliments on it today after 15 years and 364,000 miles of wear and tear,” the owner wrote in a review on KBB.com, adding that they wished all vehicles “were made like this one.”
The 2019 Odyssey comes with a number of features that will make you want to hold on to it for years, including Magic Slide seats, Apple CarPlay integration, Android Auto integration, a road departure mitigation system, CabinWatch and HondaVAC.
7. Toyota Tacoma
- Original owners keeping their car for 15 years or more: 13.4%
“The Tacoma has consistently been the best-selling midsize pickup truck,” Ly said in the iSeeCars report. “The fact that their owners don’t want to give their trucks up speaks to the dependability of Toyota pickups.”
The 2019 Tacoma’s performance features include a 3.5-liter, V-6 direct-injection engine, and it also comes standard with the Star Safety System to keep you protected on the road. This system includes vehicle stability control, traction control, an anti-lock brake system and electronic brake-force distribution.
6. Toyota Sequoia
- Original owners keeping their car for 15 years or more: 13.5%
“I’ve never had a problem with my truck and it’s still going strong,” wrote the owner of a 2004 Toyota Sequoia in a review on Kelley Blue Book. “Love this truck and will never get rid of it. Very sturdy and well-built truck.”
The 2019 model of this full-size SUV comes standard with a 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 engine, multimode four-wheel drive and an automatic limited-slip differential for extra traction. The Toyota Sequoia’s roomy interior features a reclining third-row seat and is ideal for family road trips.
5. Toyota Tundra
- Original owners keeping their car for 15 years or more: 14.1%
“The Tundra has frequently been named as the ‘most dependable large pickup’ according to J.D. Power,” Ly said in the iSeeCars report.
The 2019 Toyota Tundra delivers power and efficiency with powerful front brakes; a massive ring gear; a 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 engine; six-speed automatic transmission; an automatic limited-slip differential; and active traction control.
4. Honda Pilot
- Original owners keeping their car for 15 years or more: 15.3%
Honda Pilot owners are twice as likely as the average car owner to keep their car for 15 years or more. After all, the eight-passenger vehicle was named the Midsize SUV Best Buy of the Year by Kelley Blue Book for four years in a row.
“I have never had a more reliable, easy-to-maintain vehicle,” wrote a nine-year Honda Pilot owner on KBB.com. “Great visibility. Perfect for young families. Easy to drive too.”
Available features of the 2019 Pilot include the Honda Sensing safety system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, the Blind Spot Information System, remote engine start and a power tailgate.
3. Toyota Sienna
- Original owners keeping their car for 15 years or more: 16.1%
The 2019 Toyota Sienna minivan received an NHTSA five-star overall safety rating and was also named one of the 12 best family cars of 2018 by Kelley Blue Book. Consumers rated the Sienna a 4.3 out of 5 on KBB.com for its reliability.
And, it’s not just the newer models that consumers love — one longtime Sienna owner raved that their car “drives and rides like new 15 years later.”
“[I thought] about getting something newer, but it’s still so comfortable, great ride, dependable. … Still love it after all these years!” wrote the reviewer on KBB.com.
2. Toyota Prius
- Original owners keeping their car for 15 years or more: 16.2%
If you’re looking for a dependable hybrid, the Toyota Prius might be your best choice.
“The oldest hybrid vehicle to remain in continuous production, the Prius’ appearance on the list helps dispel concerns about battery durability, and shows that Toyota’s quality and reliability standards extend beyond its conventional fuel vehicles,” Ly said in the iSeeCars report.
The 2019 model gets an impressive 54 highway mpg and 50 city mpg. The Prius also comes with the Toyota Safety Sense suite of technology so you can feel protected on the road.
1. Toyota Highlander
- Original owners keeping their car for 15 years or more: 18.5%
The Toyota Highlander tops this list of cars that drivers are most likely to keep for 15 years or more. Owners of the Highlander are 2 1/2 times more likely to hold on to their car for that long compared to the average car owner.
“By far the best quality vehicle we have ever owned,” wrote an owner of the 2004 Highlander on Kelley Blue Book. “Keep to the maintenance schedule and yours will last as long.”
The 2019 model of this midsize SUV has solid fuel efficiency with an estimated 27 highway mpg and 21 city mpg, as well as a stop and start engine system. It also has an available 3.5-liter V-6 engine, dynamic torque-control all-wheel drive and 5,000-pound towing capacity.
Which Manufacturer Makes the Most Reliable Cars?
Have you noticed a pattern in the data? Ten of the top 15 cars that owners keep for 15 years or more are Toyota models, with the Highlander taking the top spot. Honda is also a reliable car brand with three models making the top 15 — the Pilot ranked the highest at No. 4. Acura and Subaru were the only other car companies to make this ranking, with the Acura MDX and Subaru Forester falling in spots No. 13 and No. 10, respectively.
Click through to see cars that cost the most to maintain.
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Photos are for illustrative purposes only and might not feature the exact models, base models or specific trim levels of the cars listed in this article. As a result, some of the vehicles in the photos might have different MSRPs compared to the ones mentioned in the text.
About the Author
Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert.